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July 2023

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Composites Institute Receives $30M Funding Renewal from DOE

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), headquartered in Knoxville, TN, announced it is receiving a funding renewal from the Department of Energy (DOE). IACMI becomes the first clean energy institute to be renewed by DOE. IACMI will be receiving federal funding across five fiscal years, with a first-year investment of $6 million to further technological R&D and accelerate commercialization in the domestic composites manufacturing sector. This federal funding builds upon initial institute funding of $70 million from DOE and over $180 million from IACMI's member partners.

"IACMI is living, breathing proof that when we connect our nation's leading experts across the manufacturing value chain to listen, learn and share ideas and best practices, we can have a big impact," said Alejandro Moreno, DOE's Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "The Department is committed to seeing how IACMI will continue to leverage that collaborative spirit into actionable and innovative progress as our partnership continues."

Since its establishment in 2015, IACMI has emerged as a leader in advanced composite design, manufacturing, technical innovation and workforce development. During this eight-year period, IACMI has:

  • Managed more than 60 collaborative and industry-led technical projects, representing more than $200 million in R&D investment
  • Catalyzed over 25 new composite-based products to commercialization
  • Supported the creation of 3,000 jobs at composite materials and parts manufacturers
  • Spurred investment of $75 million in five states for R&D and Scale Up Facilities.

"Composites have the power to improve everyday lives," said Chad Duty, Chief Executive Officer for IACMI. "Composite technology will continue to play a crucial role as we develop more sustainable solutions to our country's energy, transportation and infrastructure challenges. DOE's continued investment in IACMI will accelerate our progress toward achieving these goals."

The funding will be applied to the continued research and development of advanced composites technologies that support U.S. decarbonization and strengthen IACMI'S three strategic pillars: technology, economy and workforce development.

"Since 2015, IACMI, state economic development organizations and DOE have invested in a shared infrastructure that collectively delivers a breadth and scale of open-access composites manufacturing R&D capabilities that stand unmatched in the U.S.," said a spokesperson. "These facility and infrastructure investments have been led by IACMI's core innovation partners in Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Today, these capabilities uniquely position IACMI, along with DOE and its industrial collaborators, to leverage their achievements thus far to advance composites manufacturing innovations that will de-risk and accelerate decarbonization efforts in the United States.

Examples of state-of-the-art scale-up facilities include:

  • Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
  • Carbon Fiber Technology Facility at ORNL
  • Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility at University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Laboratory for Systems Integrity and Reliability at Vanderbilt University
  • The Composites Laboratory at the University of Dayton Research Institute
  • The Composites Manufacturing & Simulation Center at Purdue University
  • The IACMI Scale-Up Research Facility (SuRF), managed by Michigan State University
  • The Composites Manufacturing Education and Technology Facility (CoMET) at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

IACMI has leveraged these facilities to undertake transformational R&D, such as helping Volkswagen of America redesign and validate a liftgate for the VW Atlas with composites, reducing its weight by 35% and lowering its cost by 9% compared with steel. Another example is the scaling, manufacture and testing of novel thermoplastic wind turbine blades that are recyclable and lower in cost.

Today, IACMI Working Groups provide a robust model to engage in R&D for high rate aerostructures fabrication, digital twins, future mobility, wind energy, infrastructure and construction and the circular economy through recycling and novel materials.

For more information contact:

IACMI-The Composites Institute

2360 Cherahala Blvd.

Knoxville, TN 37932


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